Amiralul (1164423) writes "In the current climate, as the new US budget plan forces the Constellation project to shut down and handle the LEO space business to private sector, what is the purpose of NASA in the foreseeable future? For the first time, NASA doesn't have even a planned vehicle to allow astronauts to reach Earth's orbit (since space shuttles are scheduled for retirement this year), nor does it have any future manned exploration plans for Moon, Mars and beyond. As manned spaceflight will probably fade-out soon, as private corporates lacks the resources and reasons to fund a mission to the Moon or Mars, what is the purpose of NASA, as a standalone agency? US Army could take over existing satellites maintenance and future launches, since Obama administration doesn't think beyond LEO. No launch vehicle for human missions, no new rockets planned, no roadmap for returning crews on the Moon, no planned Mars expedition for the foreseeable future, so why what's the purpose of NASA these days?"
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